Last week, I addressed an article that NASA had just released. It concerned the July 23, 2012 "near miss" from our sun. Not to repeat, but we missed being "hit" by the negative effects of a massive solar storm. If it had hit us, there is an excellent chance it would have damaged or destroyed our nation's electrical grid. Life as we know it, would have changed for years, maybe decades.
Yesterday, we found out we had another "near miss" - only this one did not come from space. It almost came from Africa. A doctor who lives in Coon Rapids, Minnesota was on his way back from Western Africa when he became sick. It turns out he had the Ebola virus. Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for him, he never made it back to Coon Rapids. If he had, we would have been in unchartered territory. How the CDC would have handled that is unclear. We might have been on a metro wide lockdown.
I have not written about this for a while, but I think it bears repeating. There are a myriad of things that could happen which would cripple or stop our distribution system. If our distribution system stopped, your house would become your store. What you have in your house would have to sustain you - what you do not have in your house, you will probably not be able to obtain, at least for a while.
I am trying to address this as a citizen and not a crazed "prepper" or survivalist. If something happens to our grid, the water coming into your house would stop. If it is a massive EMP, all electric devices, which are not Rad hardened, would cease to function. No water, no toilet, no freezer, no heat. Nada. Water is the most import commodity. We don't do well without water. In fact, most humans don't even make it a week without water. And we saw from Hurricane Katrina and Super Storm Sandy, the government cannot be counted on for help in a major disaster.
What to do? If nothing else, at least have enough potable water and food in your pantry to last for 7 to 10 days. Have some paper plates, paper towels, plastic silverware. Have an adequate amount of flashlights, batteries and candles. Keep extra fresh gasoline on hand, just in case. In case of what? Basically, the unthinkable. Were something to happen so terrible, that you would have to flee your house, you need to be ready for that also. The "preppers" call that the "bug out" option. A "dirty bomb" is an excellent example of why you would need to "bug out".
Finally, this will offend some, but it needs to be addressed. Have a home defense plan. You may be able to help some who are not prepared, but most you will not. They will be on their own. Desperate times will call for desperate measures. Basic survival will become key. We all hope it would never come to this, but it might. Chance will favor the prepared.
So be prepared. Take care of your family. The internet is fraught with various articles on all stages of preparation. As the military teaches, "failure to plan is planning to fail."